Japan’s odd couple – A primate-rodent friendship between Capybaras & Squirrel Monkeys

One of our more popular posts of all time has been the photos of the tiger and orangutan friendships I shared with you several months back.

To rekindle that interest, I’ve come accross a Reuters news piece on a similar friendshipSquirrel Monkey & Capybara… but this time it is between squirrel monkeys and giant South American rodents called capybaras. And it is all taking place in a Japanese Zoo, Tobu Zoo.

An interesting cultural sidenote, I was reading about capybaras last night and how in countries like Venezula and Brazil, the capybara is to Easter as turkeys are to the United States’ Thanksgiving. That’s because Catholics consider capybaras a fish, mind you, because they live in water and thus are not considered meat for Lent. Crazy, I know.

But I digress, the photo to our right is of one such compainionship between the two species. The news blip on this gets way too technical, hypothesizing whether this is a unique frienship or it can happen in the wild and injectures of meekness, etc. While both species inhabit South America,

“their paths do not cross — capybaras live on river banks while the monkeys live in forests.”

Photo credits: Kim Kyung-Hoon – JAPAN/Reuters.

3 thoughts on “Japan’s odd couple – A primate-rodent friendship between Capybaras & Squirrel Monkeys

  1. Nice photo.

    But I warn you that eating capivara in lent or considering it a fish is the most ludicrous thing I ever heard, and belongs together with the idea of snakes strolling down the streets of Rio de Janeiro. I am Brazilian, have traveled extensively in the interior of my country, and have never heard such a thing. Whoever wrote this (and you happily reproduced here) probably has Carmen Miranda’s movies of the 40’s with all its misplaced clichés and mixed-up prejudices about our “exotic” country as it main source of knowledge of things Brazilian.

  2. Irene, thanks for taking the time to comment and clarify what you have experienced in your travels in Brazil.

    I wanted to let you know that I got the Capybara-Lent connection from reading an article about the animals in National Geographic. This magazine is not necessarily always academic, but in their hundred or so years of publication, I think they know not to over exotify a culture.

    While your cause is just, you are defending your country from a precieved misconception, I want to comment that just because you haven’t seen the Capybara-Lent connection nor heard about it, in your experiences doesn’t mean that what the author of the National Geographic piece is all lies.

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